Piers Warning: a Morgan from History


I know he’s not really called Piers Warning, but I presume you know whom I’m talking about. In the London Times last weekend he whooped about being a one-name celebrity, “like Madonna”. You do know about Piers Morgan, right? I ask because I’m British, and know almost all about him. But when I was revising [...]

Tom Payne on NPR; FAME in The Atlantic and WSJ


If you missed Tom Payne’s excellent interview with Neal Conan on NPR‘s “Talk of the Nation,” be sure to listen here. (aired 12/29/10) A nice review of Fame ran on The Atlantic.com on December 27th — read here. And Toby Young reviewed Fame in The Wall Street Journal on December 27th, concluding that “Fame is [...]

The New York Times Book Review on FAME

A rave review from Caroline Weber in The New York Times Book Review: “In his trenchant, unsettling, darkly hilarious FAME, Tom Payne…examines the murky pact that binds stars to their public…. Moving seamlessly between yesterday’s great literature—Greek, Roman, early Christian, Enlightenment and Romantic—and today’s trashy tabloids, Payne advances a persuasive, if disturbing, definition of what [...]

The Queen is Poked

Her Majesty got back

The Queen is on facebook! It shows us that she wants to be famous, like the rest of us: to know how many people like her. Facebook is but one more embarrassing fracture in the perceived dignity of the monarchy – like forcing the queen to wear a sombrero at a Spring Break Cinco de [...]

Popcropolis on Prince William


Popcropolis loves Britain. In fact (you might have realised) Popcropolis is a British export, as British as Hugh Grant, or Hugh Laurie, or blackberry and apple pie. As a result, I’m sure that you’ll join this loyal British subject in being cockahoop about the forthcoming royal nuptials. Here in Britain, we are thrilled, of course, [...]

The Tragical History of a Stone

Life Keith Richards

Life by Keith Richards: review From The Telegraph, 05 Nov 2010 If you can remember the Sixties, blah blah blah. Boy can Keith Richards remember the Sixties, which is great. The real miracle is that he can remember the Seventies, considering that Keith’s poison was heroin, which would surely make performing in a high-energy band [...]

Fame Featured in Newsweek: “Dying to Live Forever”


Click to read about Tom Payne’s Fame in ”Dying to Live Forever” (Newsweek) Nothing seems more modern than society’s relentless obsession with reality-show stars, Hollywood tweets, and tabloid scandals. But a wildly entertaining new book by former Daily Telegraph literary editor Tom Payne suggests that our celebrity culture has rather old roots. In Fame, Payne draws provocative parallels between 21st-century stardom [...]

Newsweek: “How Lady Gaga Is Like the Aztecs” (Interview)


Click here to read Tom Payne’s Newsweek Interview: “How Lady Gaga Is Like the Aztecs” Excerpt: “Megastars like Lady Gaga, he argues, are elevated to the status of demigods—but we demand sacrifices from them in return (their image, their privacy). ‘The crowd wants something, and anindividual is prepared to give it to them,’ Payne writes, [...]

Listen to Tom Payne Interviews (Radio)


Click to listen to Tom Payne discuss our cult of celebrity on NH Public Radio “Word of Mouth” (15 minutes): Listen to Tom Payne on “why [...] we revere but also revile our celebrities” – KERA “Think” (Dallas Public Radio; 1 hour): Previously: Fame Reviewed in The Onion‘s A.V. Club: Fame: What The Classics Tell Us About Our Cult [...]

Fame in The Onion’s A.V. Club


Click here to read the full review – Fame: What The Classics Tell Us About Our Cult of Celebrity (A.V. Club Review) Excerpt: “[...] Fame isn’t a simple reduction of modern celebrity culture to we’ve-seen-this-before status, or a cheap attempt to fuse philosophy to the flavor of the month. Payne’s questions and answers have a distinctly [...]